"Mayday, mayday, mayday, Coast Guard!"
So starts the distress signal sent to the US Coast Guard by Captain John Lerro of the MV Summit Venture after it hit the Sunshine Skyway Bridge on the rainy morning of May 9, 1980, in Tampa Bay. 35 people lost their lives that day. Captain John Lerro did not, but he was tortured by guilt in his role in the accident until his death in 2002. Others, including Wesley MacIntire, who was the sole survivor of the crash, were impacted as well. This was, in every sense, a tragedy.
Bill DeYoung, a former Gainesville Sun reporter who also happens to be a St. Petersburg native, turns this tragedy into a compelling story. A history of the Tampa Bay area, including the construction of the first Skyway bridge (completed in 1954), is included as well as intimate portraits of all who were affected by the fateful event. Come hear him read from his new book, Skyway, on Saturday, January 11 at 1 pm at our Tower Road branch or Sunday, January 12, at 3 pm at Headquarters and hear his riveting tale firsthand. It is not to be missed.